REVIEW - Burning Midnight by Will McIntosh

Title: Burning Midnight

Author: Will McIntosh

Publisher: Random House

Release Date: 2nd February 2016

Source: ARC/NetGalley
For fans of The Maze Runner and The Fifth Wave, this debut YA novel from Hugo Award winner Will McIntosh pits four underprivileged teens against an evil billionaire in the race of a lifetime. 

Sully is a sphere dealer at a flea market. It doesn't pay much—Alex Holliday's stores have muscled out most of the independent sellers—but it helps him and his mom make the rent.
No one knows where the brilliant-colored spheres came from. One day they were just there, hidden all over the earth like huge gemstones. Burn a pair and they make you a little better: an inch taller, skilled at math, better-looking. The rarer the sphere, the greater the improvement—and the more expensive the sphere.

When Sully meets Hunter, a girl with a natural talent for finding spheres, the two start searching together. One day they find a Gold—a color no one has ever seen. And when Alex Holliday learns what they have, he will go to any lengths, will use all of his wealth and power, to take it from them.
There's no question the Gold is priceless, but what does it actually do? None of them is aware of it yet, but the fate of the world rests on this little golden orb. Because all the world fights over the spheres, but no one knows where they come from, what their powers are, or why they're here.

Ok, I really looked forward to reading this, it has had a bit of a buzz about as Will McIntosh is a Hugo award winner, so that means he should know his stuff when it comes to science fiction.

So is Burning Midnight any good, well yes I did enjoy it but to me it was a book of two halves.  Two good halves.

The gist of the story is that Earth has been populated (or maybe invaded?!) by spheres, orbs that sound like the marbles I played with when I was a kid, and the spheres come in many different colours.  

Now each colour of sphere has what can only be described as magical properties and when a person has two spheres of the same colour and burns them, well they will benefit from them by maybe growing an inch taller or suddenly becoming good at maths or becoming prettier.  Still with me?

These spheres are almost like currency, some spheres are common but there are rarer ones which are of course more expensive.  The spheres can be found anywhere, from behind your sofa or down a mine, people hunt them and deal them, Sully is one of these people.

He is only a teenager but he is an expert at selling and finding these spheres.  His claim to fame was that he found an extremely rare sphere but his being put out of business by the Asda(Walmart) of spheres, Alex Holliday who has shops all over the place.

Sully has beef with Holliday and want to kick his ass by finding another rare sphere, together with his friend Hunter, a girl who seem to have a knack of finding them, they devise a plan to search in places that may have been overlooked.

So the question is will they find it and if they do what does that sphere do? Also how will they stop Holliday getting his mitts on it?

Yeah, well I am not telling you any more as to what happens there, read it yourself but back to the book of two halves as I mentioned earlier.

The first halve of the book, which I loved reading about, I mean there is a lot of questions about these spheres such as...

Hello, where the hell did they come from?
Did they all appear at once?
Who decided to pick one up and burn it?
What else did people do with the spheres before burning them was the way to go?
Where can I get a list of all the properties and colours?

Ok, questions out the way, the first half is fun as Sully and co search for spheres and deal with teenage stuff such as girls!  But the second half of the book, which I won't disclose, really takes the book in a new direction.  It is fast, scary and a little crazy but I liked it but I felt it went from one extreme to another from the first part of the book to the second part.

But hey I really enjoyed this, I don't think I have read anything quite like it and to be honest I could quite happily have read about Sully finding his spheres for the entire book.


Random Redheaded Ramblings


  1. Oh this sounds quite good! I don't know this author actually, but it sounds like this is a good start to a new series.


  2. Whoa! This whole premise about the spheres is so FASCINATING! I also really want to know now what the gold sphere does and what sort of craziness happens in the second half that you won't tell us about! (Ok, I don't really because spoilers, but you get what I'm saying.) I am definitely adding this to my TBR, and I'm glad you reviewed it because I'd probably not have clicked that cover had I seen it randomly somewhere.

    1. It was so different, I just loved all these spheres and the fact they did all these different things but like I said in the review who decided to touch the in the first place!

    2. Yeah but really, who decided to do *anything* in the first place? Like, who saw a cow and decided to drink what came out of its udders? Lol so really, when you think about it, burning spheres is probably one of the less weird things a person could do :-P

    3. Ha! When you put it like that it is totally sane!!!

  3. I like the sound of this book, even if it does feel like you can split it into two different parts where the distinction between the two is so massive! I like the sound of face paced action though!

  4. I want this book now! Great review. My TBR is going to keep growing I guess. :)


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